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MoD maintains its opposition to development trust’s north-east turbine

Plans lodged for Scotland's fourth biggest turbine.
Plans lodged for Scotland's fourth biggest turbine.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) will not back down in its bid to stop a wind turbine being built at the base of a north-east beauty spot.

Fraserburgh Development Trust (FDT) wants to erect a 259ft turbine at the base of Mormond Hill, near Strichen, which it says will provide renewable energy for 25 years to come.

But the MoD has objected to the plans, saying that the structure at Claystiles would interfere with radar in Buchan.

In a response to the initial application, the MoD said the turbine could throw up false aircraft detections if it were to go ahead.

But Philip Clubley, an agent at Orkney Sustainable Energy Ltd – which has submitted the proposals on behalf of the FDT – suggested that the turbine would be out of reach of Buchan radar.

Safeguarding officer David Naylor-Gray disagrees.

And in his latest letter to local authority planners, he said the turbine could create “unacceptable interference” with radar systems.

He added that the MoD had carried out modelling of the area to test whether or not the turbine would be caught.

“Our field strength coverage plot for the Claystiles turbine indicates that the turbine is likely to be detectable by the Buchan radar,” he said.

“In light of this, we maintain our objection.”

It is the latest blow to the turbine project after the RSPB said the cumulative impact of turbines in the area could begin to impact upon bird species.

One local man has also raised concerns.

Alistair Brown, who lives in Memsie, said he was already “blighted” by the noise of turbines in the area.

In a letter of objection, he said: “We can even hear them inside the house on certain days if the weather conditions are correct – through double-glazing. Please do not make this worse.”

Last night, a spokesman for Orkney Sustainable Energy declined to comment on the proposals.

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